Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. —Rainer Maria Rilke
The weekend here in Haiti has ended . . .
The time to catch up—do laundry, make beds, have some spaghetti with the ones we love—has lead us to Valentine’s Day—muddy, gone-amuck Monday Cinderella-ed into—
More laundry, more beds, more spaghetti with the ones we don’t always love.
Yes, the ones we love may be less than lovely at times. But on Valentine’s Day, I’m also thinking about my home here in Haiti and about my home in the blogosphere, readers who care, readers I’ve come to love.
So, it seems essential on this day that celebrates love, a day that celebrates caring and appreciation, that I invite readers I love into the heart of my life here in Haiti–into my home. For it’s as true as it is cliched: home is where the heart is.
A while back, on a truly muddy Monday, I promised photos of our house in Port-au-Prince, promised, that is, when so many of you ranted about our kitchen decor in a post called “Haiti needs to be HGTV’d.” (If you missed that post, click here.)
So, though “Writing Neurotic” still threatens (for an introduction to “Writing Neurotic” click here and here), our wireless is working well today—is almost, semi fast . . . (Notice the adverbs that qualify “fast.” All apply.)
Given this, I’m going to attempt a giant photo upload. (If you’re not familiar with the wireless challenges we face at our house here in Haiti, click here.)
If I succeed, a virtual tour of our home should follow. (Please pray the bandwidth gods, maybe even Saint Valentine himself, remain with us.)
Here’s the deal. Our house sits on a hillside, hovering above the up-scale Port-au-Prince suburb of Petion-ville, where the streets are poorly paved, if at all, and the twists and turns of “almost-roads” threaten even the most seasoned drivers—pot holes the size of swimming pools are not uncommon.
Though there’s little electricity, once you get here, things are lovely. Truly—our home is small but adequate, and we have dressed it up with paint—bold color, saturated color, the kind you want to drink in and absorb.
After honking to alert the guard (yes, he’s armed), he’ll open the gate and you’ll drive onto what is essentially the roof of our house—an outside deck that, for the most part, doubles our living space, (only sometimes exposing us to the stench of burning tire in the town below. Don’t worry there’s been no rioting today. We’re sinus-ly safe for now.)
So come join us, pull up a chair, have cup of tea or a cocktail, if you like. The roof-top deck, where we’re sitting looks like this:
The view from your seat looks like this:
And, if you wonder about that roaring, rumbling sound—it’s our generator round the corner, keeping the lights on for us:
You’ll enter the house itself from the roof, by descending a set of stairs:
From the opposite side of the room, the staircase looks like this:
You’ve entered our main living space—a kitchenlivingdiningroom—what in the US we might call a “great room,” though ours is not so grand.
The kitchen looks like this:
Our main seating area looks like this:
On opposite sides of this space, doors lead to two rooms, the master bedroom and bath on one side, the guest room and bath on the other.
The master bedroom looks like this:
And the master bathroom looks like this:
You’ll enter the guest room through this doorway:
This room doubles as Sara’s office, but if you spend the night, you’ll sleep here:
Your bathroom, a mirror image of the master, looks like this:
Another door off the guest room leads to a balcony that looks like this:
And a stairway that looks this:
At the bottom of the stairs, another door from the outside opens into my studio and study:
Our guard Jean-Jean rushes down the stairs–interupts the tour. He insists the protests have started again. You need to go.
Gosh, darn, you just got here——
We hurry back up the stairs to your car.
Well, at least you’ve gotten a sneak peak at our home in Port-au-Prince, I concede, and as you close the car door, I shout above clatter of gate opening–
Let us know when you can come again, stay a little longer, spend the night.
I’ll send a driver and an armed-escort to meet your flight.
(For a post about madness at the Port-au-Prince airport, click here.)
Happy Valentine’s Day from the heart of our home!
Happy Valentine’s Day–from the (still unresolved) heart of Haiti—————-